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Vermont Fish & Wildlife to prohibit climbing on State land
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By mmainer
Aug 9, 2012
This includes large portions of Snake Mountain, as well as some other more obscure areas. It also sets a terrible precedent.

climberism.com/climbers-of-ver...

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Aug 9, 2012
That would be too bad; Snake is a neat little spot. Fortunately, this wouldn't affect any of the state's best climbing areas, just a few out-of-the-way spots. Nevertheless, as you said, it would be a bad precedent. IMO, it is a little ridiculous to allow hunting but not climbing, but that is just my biased view of the relative impacts of those two sports. I guess that the hunting/fishing lobby is much more influential than climbing access groups.

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Aug 9, 2012
Also, for those unfamiliar, the most-notable area affected by the ban, Snake Mountain, is a fairly lightly visited ice/mixed crag. It has a few short WI4-ish pillars, and a spectacular overhang with beasty hard mixed lines. It doesn't get a ton of visitation, but it is a notable resource nonetheless because it contains the hardest bolted mixed/drytool routes in the Northeastern US.

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 9, 2012
Snake is great but this ban would eliminate climbing on some real gems including a 300' cliff with several very adventurous lines.

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 9, 2012
Rally the troops as the VT Dept of Fish and Wildlife has proposed a new rule that would ban climbing in some fantastic beautiful areas link to submit comments here:climberism.com/climbers-of-ver...

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By mmainer
Aug 9, 2012
While I will acknowledge that VT DFW doesn't manage any of the really notable crags, they are partially involved in managing other state owned land that does have some very important climbing. Marshfield, Smugglers Notch and Willoughby are all on State owned land and this is the first step towards closing those to climbing. In general I have found the folks at Forest Parks and Recreation to be very reasonable and with the best interests of the public in mind. The folks at Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife are devoted only to maximizing deer population size and will do whatever they want to keep folks who don't agree with their version of outdoor recreation (which is generally limited to "nature watching") off State Land. Either way several of the WMA's have some nice potential.

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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Aug 9, 2012
CoR
Gotta love the oppressive East coast. NH is the closest it comes to freedom.

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By Spaniel
Aug 10, 2012
To help put this in perspective, all Wildlife Management Areas in Vermont have all been purchased for various wildlife values, or recreational opportunities specifically related to those wildlife values. That includes fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, hiking, educational purposes, etc.

WMAs were purchased through a combination of hunting, angling, and trapping license fees and Pittman-Robertson (PR) funds. PR money comes from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, etc. In other words, these Fish and Wildlife properties were purchased by hunters, anglers, and trappers, and the priorities outlined in the proposed regulation reflects that.

So here's my question: would you be willing to pay for access to some of these climbing spots?

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Aug 10, 2012
One Way Sunset
Someone has contacted Access Fund? accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNW...

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By Nicholas Webb
From Vail, CO
Aug 10, 2012
Spaniel wrote:
So here's my question: would you be willing to pay for access to some of these climbing spots?


That answer depends on the location and the amount charged. We already pay at some sites, namely national parks.

The land was purchased by the state with taxpayer money. Just because the state decided to raise the money by taxing a specific user group doesn't mean that only that specific group may use the land. Highways are funded in part by gas taxes, but I have just as much of a right to ride my bicycle on the road as a car who's paying gas taxes has the right to drive on the road.

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 10, 2012
I would suggest that folks read the proposed change. Some of the allowed uses are quite baffling if you consider that the goal is wildlife management. For example, they specifically allow harvesting of wild edibles(deer, bear, and turkey food)...you can go out and pick berries, fungi, plants...these are things that wildlife need to survive...but you can't climb on rocks? You are allowed to ski, snowshoe, hike through deer yards in the winter...stressing and disturbing the deer population...but you can't climb on rocks. Many of us climbers do buy our hunting and fishing licenses and some of us even hunt or fish on the same land on the same day that we climb.

Email VT Fish and Wildlife and your state reps and senators!

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By APBT1976
Aug 10, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11
This kinda shit makes my blood boil!!

What is next is my question? Pretty soon we will all be taxed and or restricted from picking our noses and wiping our asses!

Mandatory bidet and if you get caught with your finger in your nose we take the finger...

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 10, 2012
Stoked...
Public Comments Link:

anr.state.vt.us/fwd/PublicComm...

Please help VT with intelligent comments for adding climbing!!

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By Jsimon25
From Bristol, Vt
Aug 10, 2012
This is serious. Not just for climbing but there are extensive mountain biking trails that run all over Snake Mountain. It would be an absolute shame if we were banned from our beloved recreational activities on this public land. We need to rally! Spread the word and comment on the link above.

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By Seth Maciejowski
Aug 10, 2012
Hey Folks,
If you plan to submit comments to F&W regarding WMAs (the type of properties that would be affected), know that CRAG-VT is working with the Access Fund to find the context of the proposed rule change. I would respectfully request that you keep all comments civil, and please indicate to F&W that climbing is a low impact sport that is compatible with wildlife observation and preservation. It might be helpful to note that climbers are often also hunters and fishermen and do contribute to local businesses and that climbing locations are in short supply in VT. F&W will be receptive as long as we keep it courteous and civil.
Thanks,
-Seth Maciejowski
President, CRAG-VT

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By Mark Lewis
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 10, 2012
Submitted a comment to VT...

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By kenr
Aug 10, 2012
At a climbing area in a different northeastern state, there are partial closures of the cliffs due to nesting birds.
I've heard some local climbers participate in exploring and checking to find out which sections of the cliffs have nests, when the birds are there, even progress on the hatching + health of young birds. Remarkably the closures for climbing are only selected sections and for as short a duration as sensible.

Another climbing area in another northeastern state, I've never heard of any climber participation about nesting birds (actually it's not clear that there have actually been any nesting for decades). At this area, instead of closing selected sections, the entire cliff is closed to climbing, and for a much larger percentage of the year than the first area.

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By Seth Maciejowski
Aug 10, 2012
Kenr,
Peregrine falcon closures in Upstate NY, VT and NH are pretty common. Biologists assess what kind of buffer zones nesting peregrines require then post the cliffs accordingly. While this is a ban that is voluntarily adhered to by the climbing community, we have very good compliance and a strong working relationship with the biologists. The proposed rule for Fish and Wildlife administered Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) is a permanent ban on all recreational rock climbing unless expressly permitted and is not associated with a particular plant or animal species.

-Seth Maciejowski

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 10, 2012
Here's what I submitted
Feel free to paraphrase for your own comment:

I am deeply concerned by and opposed to the proposed rule changes in 10 V.S.A App.15 Rule Governing Public Use of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Lands. As a lifelong Vermonter and avid outdoorsman I use WMA lands for hiking, fishing, harvesting of edibles(fungi and berries), wildlife viewing, and rock climbing to name a few. Of these activities the one that is the least invasive and causes the least damage to any habitat is rock climbing. We actively climb at Bird Mountain, have done so for years, and historically it's been a climbing destination for well over 50 years. To ban climbing here or on any WMA, on public land that my taxes help support, and that my fishing license subsidizes would be a travesty. Rock Climbers are the lowest impact and most conservation minded users around, we help protect endangered species, work with Margaret Fowle to identify and protect peregrine sites, don't use motorized vehicles to access areas and tread lightly. Rock Climbing is vertical hiking but unlike hiking there is no erosion because you are on rock.

Please include Rock Climbing in the allowed uses on WMA Land.

Thank you for your consideration,

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 23, 2012
Was anyone able to go to either of the hearings this week and if so what was the reason for ban on climbing?

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By John Husky
Aug 25, 2012
I am bummed about this new law, but not really surprised. Climbers are conspicuous when climbing, especially when bolting (with power tools) and scrubbing lichen. Both of these are activities that I hypocritically am uncomfortable with. It is also hypocritical for most any other person in VT to find fault with them. We are, after all, putting in roads to get to the great outdoors.

My flimsy point is that any time I've heard mention of climbing in the general media/ news, it is pointed out that bolting and scrubbing are necessary or common practices. Not to mention the perception of us as extreme crazies with death wishes. We should procede with caution and take pains to limit/ reverse this perception.

Marshfield is a very popular wildlife viewing area, and is very quiet and rural. Brian Pfieffer (sp?) is a go- to birding expert and lives right nearby. The place is rabid with hunters who see us as interlopers. (never mind the trash and fire pits of the general public/ high school kids).

These are the toes we need to avoid stepping on. A little ass kissing couldn't hurt either.

Perhaps if you strap a shotgun on your rack, you can claim to be hunting.

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Aug 25, 2012
John Husky wrote:
Perhaps if you strap a shotgun on your rack, you can claim to be hunting.


"i just had to get a little higher to get an open shot."

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 26, 2012
"I was just harvesting some lichen for soup"

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By Eastvillage
From New York, NY
Aug 27, 2012
Me on the summit of Devil's Tower
This sounds too bizarrely bureaucratic for words. This coming from a state with virtually no restrictions on firearms ownership and use, resident or not.
But you can't climb on some rocks on public land?
If you can't climb go shooting!

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 28, 2012
Stoked...
So anyone attend that cares to comment on the meeting?

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Aug 28, 2012
Did not get to attend but spoke to folks that did:

Sounds like this is the first draft and they are taking comments and testimony and then two more rounds of votes before finalized some time early winter. I believe that quite a few folks spoke up at both meetings and the access fund was present at the northern vt meeting.

The more comments in support of allowing climbing as an existing low impact activity can only help.

Submit comments here:
vtfishandwildlife.com/hunttrap...

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